When Alex Ovechkin first broke into the league with the Capitals back in 2005, visions of Stanley Cup championships were dancing through the heads of Washington fans. Ovechkin dominated the league in scoring for several years, but recently it seems as though he has started to wear out his welcome. His production has been down and he has not been able to lead the Capitals to a championship in seven seasons. For those reasons and others, Ovechkin was recently named the “Worst Local Athlete” by readers of the Washingtonian.
As you can see from the photo above that Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog shared with us, the blurb under Ovechkin’s dishonorable mention reminds readers that he was voted the area’s local hero just a year ago. My how things can change in a hurry.
With all the struggles Washington teams like the Redskins and Nationals have faced in recent years, the voting reflects how situations like this one have resulted in Ovechkin’s image taking a huge hit. He may be talented, but the bottom line is he’s not very likable at the moment.
The Capitals may have beaten the Bruins 2-1 to tie their first-round playoff series at two, but Alex Ovechkin was the big loser for this embarrassing moment. Ovechkin was trying to hop over the boards during a line change, but it looks like he lost his concentration, along with his balance, and tumbled over. The hits keep coming for Ovi, who has only scored one goal in the series.
The Alex Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby debate has been on the back burner for much of this season with Ovechkin having a down year and Crosby sidelined most of the campaign with lingering concussion symptoms. But that didn’t stop Winnipeg Jets fans in attendance for Friday’s contest against the Capitals from invoking Crosby’s name to get in Ovechkin’s head.
Ovechkin, who was also subjected to constant booing and an “Ovi sucks” chant, actually enjoyed the jeers, as it turns out.
“It’s always nice when they talk about you and then get the chants. I love it,” Ovi told The Washington Times. “It’s great for the league, it’s great for us.
“Everybody thinks who’s better, who’s not. For me, it’s nice atmosphere and I love that kind of stuff.”
The Jets went on to win the game, 3-2, and Ovechkin finished with zero points. Meanwhile, Crosby had two assists in his most recent game on Thursday. So, blame Ovi’s mom.
Kudos to Puck Daddy for the video
Photo credit: Bruce Fedyck, US Presswire
By his own standards, Alex Ovechkin has not played well over the last two years. In his first five NHL seasons, Ovechkin scored 46 or more goals and had over 100 points four times. Last season, he scored only 32 goals and had 85 total points. He is on a similar pace this season, having netted only 27 goals and tallying 24 assists in 65 games. The question is why? In an in-depth piece about Ovie’s struggles, the Washington Post speculates that his mother may have something to do with it.
When you ask those whom Ovechkin trusts most, the name most likely to come up first is Tatiana Ovechkin, his mother, a former athlete herself who lost another son at an early age. Ovechkin and his mother cling tightly to one another, and both the player’s parents shuttle back and forth from Russia to Washington. Ovechkin still spends much of his offseasons in Moscow. Those who know Ovechkin say his mother exerts considerable influence — good and bad — on her son’s life.
“That’s his biggest problem — his mom,” said a person familiar with the situation. “She did what she did for Alex. She played a huge part in his growth, in his career. But it went too far. I understand it’s family, I understand they’re very close — it’s not that. The question is: Is he ever going to grow up? I’m not only talking about hockey. She’s in his life in many other areas — relationships with girls, with friends, with everyone. It’s bizarre.”
Another source familiar with the Ovechkin family said their obsession with money has distanced him from his teammates in the locker room, claiming that no matter how much money Alex earns it’s “not enough” for the family. A number of theories have been tossed around as to why Ovechkin’s play has slid over the past couple seasons. Some say he has a poor relationship with the team while others speculate he once used performance-enhancing drugs and is no longer on them. Whatever the case may be, the “mommy won’t let me grow up” theory is by far the most unusual.
Alex Ovechkin is currently serving a three-game suspension for a hit against Pittsburgh’s Zbynek Michalek that the NHL deemed illegal. Whether he deserves the suspension or not has become overshadowed by Ovechkin’s decision to skip the NHL All-Star game this weekend. Under the current rules, a suspended player is allowed to participate in the All-Star game festivities. However, Ovechkin has decided that since he is suspended he will stamp his feet and voluntarily extend the suspension to cover the exhibition as well.
For most players, taking part in the All-Star game isn’t a chore. Many of the fans want him there because he is one of the game’s best talents, but apparently this is Alex’s way of trying to punish the NHL for their decision. Fans and players around the league have not taken kindly to the decision. Here is what St. Louis Blues forward Andy McDonaldhad to say about it on Twitter:
McDonald is right, and I like the way he included Ovechkin’s Twitter handle in the tweet so he can’t be accused of saying it “behind his back.” In the world of social media, an @ mention qualifies as saying it to someone’s face. What a childish move by one of the game’s biggest stars.
Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin confirmed Wednesday that he is dating tennis player Maria Kirilenko. The hockey superstar sent the following tweet from his Ovi8 account: “Me and my girlfriend Maria….she is my queen!!!!”
Kirilenko, the No. 27 ranked player in the world, reportedly recently broke up with boyfriend Igor Andreev, who is also a tennis player. The Montreal Gazettespeculated two days ago about a possible relationship between Ovie and Maria. They noted that Kirilenko was practicing tennis in Arlington, Va. of all places, and that she had been to a recent Caps game.
We’re just wondering what happened to Valeria Sokolova, a Russian model who was very popular here at LBS. She and Ovechkin supposedly were dating as of last August. I guess he’s gone the Rory McIlroy route and moved on to dating a fellow athlete.
The Washington Capitals trailed by two goals with less than half a period left on Tuesday night against Anaheim but somehow came back and won. The Caps got two goals from Nicklas Backstrom (including the game-winner in OT) and a goal each from Joel Ward, Dennis Wideman and Troy Brouwer to put together a 5-4 comeback win. Surprisingly, none of the goals were scored by Alexander Ovechkin and he failed to pick up an assist. With his team trailing 4-3 and 1:27 remaining in regulation, Washington coach Bruce Boudreau drew up a play that did not involve Ovechkin. Alex was not pleased. Check out his reaction around the 50-second mark:
Wearing the jersey didn’t bring the Caps any luck on Sunday — they lost to the Lightning in overtime. Normally I’d say that Snoop is showing some disrespect to Mario Lemieux and his Penguins, but like I said, the guy plays to the home crowds. Still, nothing will ever top this when it comes to rappers wearing jerseys. Nothing.
When we write about Alexander Ovechkin, he usually just spent a lovely evening carving up an entire defense and scoring. That’s what superstars do. Because players like Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are capable of such feats, their teammates tend to go to extreme measures to protect them on the ice. If you hit one of those guys, you automatically slap a target on your own back. Apparently Ovechkin is willing to return the favor, as he displayed Tuesday night after Tuomo Ruutu hit Dennis Wideman. Check it out:
We know Ovechkin has a temper, but it’s nice to see superstars go out of their way to defend a teammate. Ovechkin wasn’t satisfied with just putting a lick on Ruutu to send a message — he kept going after him. Guys like that are the ones you want on the ice with you, for reasons other than their scoring ability. Thanks to The Big Lead for the video.